Swiss woman in Mexico. Palenque, Mexico. 1982

With a tip of the hat to Ruth Orkin, here’s a photo of a Swiss woman I met in Palenque, Mexico, on “sabatical” from her family.

This sort of street photography is one of my favourite types of photography.

When I used to shoot film, one of my preferred lenses was a 135mm f2.8. The 135 is perfect for this sort of shot because it’s small and fast. Since I’m going to Europe very soon, I ordered a 50mm to 150mm f2.8 lens so I could take photos of people on the street unobtrusively.

I didn’t want to buy a zoom (I hate them because they are big and slow) but nowadays one is almost forced to, because the average punter wants a lens that does everything and doesn’t give a damn about quality. Nikon makes a 135mm f2 prime lens but it’s a monster (front element 72mm) and costs a small fortune. Another reason why I didn’t want to buy the Nikon lens was because it has a built-in soft focus control that’s aimed at portrait photographers with no taste.

I can’t tell you how much I detest those schmaltzy and sickly soft focus shots ones sees in some portrait photographer’s displays. 


I took the shot above on Kodachrome 64